This summer I spent three months living out of a Sprinter Van for Howler Brothers.A friend and I stayed in hotels, with friends and camped out. This is what we learned:
1. You’ll Never Get Comfy in the Car
We covered 25,000 miles in a vehicle and three months on the road exploring 35 states. I can tell you we never got comfy. However, midway through the trip we did figure out how to work the lever on the passenger seat to make it flat (still didn’t help).
2. Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Book Your Hotel
I cannot tell you how many times we arrived at location X and called 50 hotels to get the same response, “I’m sorry we don’t have any vacancy.” If possible, or you know your route ahead of time, book it.
3. Wait Until the Last Minute to Book a Hotel
The flipside to this is if you wait till the last minute you can haggle with hotels. This is only effective after 11pm and works often if you’re in the middle of nowhere or staying in the biggest dump of a town (yes, we stayed in sub $40 rooms where it was a question whether a prostitute was above us or if somebody got murdered in our shower).
4. Exploit That AAA Membership if You Have One
Almost every single hotel offers a AAA discount. When you check in, ask and you shall receive. It usually amounts to 10-15% off, not a bad deal for just being enrolled with a service.
5. Make the Gas Station Squeegee Your Best Friend
We murdered hundreds of thousands of bugs. So bad that we had to start using the squeegee on the side windows so we could see out of the side view mirrors.
6. Know How to Use a Map
Countless times we lost service and were like “WTF how do we navigate?” Learn to use a map, triangulate and understand a compass.